Parental engagement is key to a successful education

At STAR Catholic Schools, we are committed to providing the best possible education for our students in a caring, faith-filled

At STAR Catholic Schools, we are committed to providing the best possible education for our students in a caring, faith-filled environment. A child’s education is critical to their development as a complete human being with goals, aspirations and the skills to achieve them. Learning can’t begin when a child arrives at school in the morning and end when they leave for the day. The learning journey needs the support of parents and guardians at home, not only to help their child complete important tasks such as homework and studying but also to ensure the child is constantly challenged in new and engaging ways that appeal to them as an individual. As a parent or guardian, you are your child’s primary educator and we are privileged to work with you to help your child develop in all areas of their lives: spiritual, emotional, physical and educational.

As we start a new school year, it’s the perfect time to think about the kind of learning environment you’re modeling for your children at home. Are you encouraging them to read and exercise their creativity in strengthening their problem-solving skills? It’s vital for parents and guardians to be fully engaged in their child’s learning experience but given the busy pace of life for most of us, how can we manage to do that? Simply speaking — when it comes to the impact parents or guardians can have on their children as students, if you care, they’re more likely to care.

People For Education, an independent Canadian organization that conducts research into parent engagement, released a report in August 2011 called Doing what matters most: How parents can help their children succeed in school. The report found by having high expectations for their children, regularly talking about what’s happening at school, helping their children build strong work habits, and reading together, parents can make a significant difference in their child’s learning and overall educational journey.

Keeping engaged can be as simple as maintaining regular email contact with your child’s teacher to stay up-to-date on their progress, attending parent-teacher events at your school, volunteering on your school’s parent council, or supervising homework time to minimize distractions. Even getting into the habit of having regular “what did you learn today?” chats with your child can make a big difference in celebrating success and overcoming challenges together. We encourage you to remain as engaged as possible with your child’s educational journey and stay connected with your school administration and teaching team. Together, you will make a difference.

Maria Lentz (maria.lentz@starcatholic.ab.ca) is a Ponoka trustee on the STAR Catholic Schools Division Board. STAR Catholic Schools have 3,200 students in 10 schools located in Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Leduc, Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin. Learn more at www.starcatholic.ab.ca.